I took my first plane ride more than 20 years ago on a work trip.
At that time, retired Eastern Kentucky football coach Roy Kidd was one win away from notching his 300th victory, a feat that only a handful of coaches have achieved in their football coaching careers. It was Aug. 30, 2001 and I remember how easy it was to pass through airport security at Bowman Field in Louisville and marveled at cockpit during my short flight.
Eastern lost the opener that year to Central Michigan, but defeated Liberty University nine days later to give Kidd his milestone victory. It ranks as one of the best moments of my writing career. It still does.
I have to admit it was exciting to be a small part of such a proud moment as I watched two goal posts come down and the overall excitement that surrounded Roy Kidd Stadium.
Three days later on 9/11, an incredible high turned into a low our country had never experienced in history as terrorists used civilian aircraft as weapons and attacked our country, first flying a air of planes into the World Trade Center in New York and later the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.. Another hijacked plane went down in a field on Shanksville, Pennsylvania and failed to reach its intended target.
I can still remember Rhonda calling me from Kingston Elementary School that morning and telling me that planes have flown into the World Trade Center. Like many of you, I was stunned as I watched the events unfold that day and the days that followed. It seemed as if the world stopped turning that day and we all began turning our attention to little things that mattered.
To this day, it was eerie feeling, considering there wasn’t a cloud in the sky that day. Things above us became silent after flowing was prohibited for a period of time.
Sporting events were canceled the following weekend as we slowly recovered from a severe blow that punch our great nation in the gut. I also had flashbacks of that first plane trip and what those innocent victims had to be feeling that day on those three unfortunate doomed flights.
The events of that day changed George W. Bush’s presidency and redefined his focus during his eight years in office. He went from a peacetime president to a wartime Commander-in-Chief.
The President showed us how we could come back stronger than ever with more courage and resolve and bounce back better than ever before.
It’s been 20 years since that unimaginable day and may we never forget those who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001.
It’s a date that will forever live in infinity.
Keith Taylor is publisher of the Berea Citizen.